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Detectives arrest teen for cemetery vandalism

Detectives arrest teen for cemetery vandalism
CrimeTracker

POSTED: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 11:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 11:04am

Deputies arrested at least one person Tuesday in connection with a vandalism incident at a south Louisiana cemetery.

On Friday night, investigators said some tombs and gravestones were destroyed at the St. Peter Catholic Church Cemetery in Reserve.

Some family members of people buried in the cemetery said they are upset about the crime.

"The whole corridor right here was full of the vases. The flowers were thrown everywhere. It was just total disrespect," said resident Gary Cox Jr.

Cox said he came to pay respect to his granddaughter and other loved ones buried at St. Peter Catholic Church Cemetery on Saturday, but he saw that the cemetery was closed because of the incident.

"Some busted vases thrown on the streets. There were flowers everywhere and broken pieces of tombs that looked like they came through with a baseball bat and had practice all night long," Cox said.

Capt. Dane Clement, of St. John Sheriff's Office, said a 14-year-old came in voluntarily and gave a statement to detectives.

"He was arrested," Clement said.

He said two more arrests are pending, with charges of desecration of graves and criminal damage to property. Clement said when the investigation is done, they will forward the case to the district attorney.

"I think that it is a sacred place. I think it's really a disaster that our kids are not respecting the dead," said resident Joan Vicknair. "We're going to pray for them and hope they can realize just how bad this was. It's a disaster, and it's really a shame."

The Archdiocese of New Orleans released a statement that said, "Any vandalism at a cemetery is disappointing. Those tombs and burials under perpetual care, essentially insured and maintained by the archdiocese, will be completely repaired by the archdiocese."

The curator at the cemetery has already done much work to repair the damage.

The cemetery remains open, but from now on it will be locked at night.

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